A MAN from Birkenshaw has been crowned king in a national chess competition.
Bill Lumley, from Swincliffe Crescent, won the National Correspondence Chess Championship for 2011/2012 after an unbeaten performance won Bill the rank of International Master.
The championship is played by scores of chess players from all over the country via the internet, and Bill came out on top of the pile when the bi-annual event concluded.
Bill said that his victory was the result of many years’ dedication to the game he loves.
He said: “I finished joint-champion in 2006/07 – while that was very satisfying, my sights have since been firmly set on becoming outright champion. I am delighted that my efforts this year have brought that reward.”
Bill moved to Spen in 1961 to teach sport at Birkenshaw Secondary Modern School before then teaching sport at Huddersfield Polytechnic, and has remained in the area ever since – playing an active role in the Huddersfield and District Chess Club for more than 30 years.
He took up correspondence chess in 1985, back when games were played by post, and since then has risen through the ranks to become one of correspondence chess’s biggest names.
Bill, who also won the title of International Master in 2002, also had a spell teaching chess to pupils at Heckmondwike Grammar School from 2002-2005.
He is now 74, and while he still takes an active interest in chess, he recently decided to decline all international representative invitations and to limit his involvement to the British Championships.
“Until recently I would have had perhaps 30-40 ongoing chess games, but I suppose I now spend approximately 10 hours a week on chess analysis which leaves me plenty of time to play golf and look after my grandchildren!” he said.
The British Correspondence Chess Championships have been running since 1921, and anybody is able to enter the preliminary stages. For more information on correspondence chess, visit www.bfcc-online.org.uk.